The Iconic Ducati 750 Sport

Wisconsinite Jim Fitzgerald’s relationship with his 1973 Ducati 750 Sport was sparked by his youth.

| July/August 2011

1973 Ducati 750 Sport
Claimed power:
62hp @ 8,200rpm
Top speed: 124mph
Engine: 748cc air-cooled OHC 90-degree V-twin
Weight (dry): 402lb (183kg)
Price then: $2,500
Price now: $15,000/$35,000

Wisconsinite Jim Fitzgerald’s relationship with his 1973 Ducati 750 Sport was sparked by his youth. Back in the late Seventies, Jim wasn’t content to just follow his motorcycling compatriots. Even as a youngster messing around on a dirt bike, while the rest of his friends were aboard Honda Super 90s, Jim’s ride was a modified 1948 Harley-Davidson Hummer.

In high school, he rode a run-of-the-mill spray-bombed purple 1971 Honda CB350 — simply because it was what he could afford. After graduating and serving his tool and die apprenticeship, though, he started making better money. And while his friends were buying the Suzuki GS1000 and Honda CB900F, Jim wanted something different, like an Italian-made Moto Guzzi LeMans. Until he saw a 1978 Ducati Darmah, that is. The Duc caught Jim’s fancy, so he bought the Darmah. That was in 1979.

Going racing

Soon after, Jim realized his riding skills were above average, so he bought and prepped a 350cc Ducati single, racing it in Western-Eastern Racing Association (WERA) lightweight superbike events. In 1981, Jim’s younger brother, Rick, who rode a BSA 650 on the street, became interested in going racing.

At one of their breakfast rides, an acquaintance pulled up on a Ducati 750 Sport, the very machine featured here. Everyone admired the Italian motorcycle, but Rick showed particular interest in the Ducati, and the owner said he could have right of first refusal if the bike were ever sold. A year later, Rick bought the Ducati for $1,500.

“Rick bought it from Paul Egner, and the story is that Paul bought the bike from a neighbor of his just down the road,” Jim says. “The original owner didn’t like the riding position, and he didn’t ride it much. It was very original when my brother got it.”

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